The Quest, a Highlandtown pub with a neighborhood feel and a frequent venue for drag performances, closed its doors during an emotional “Final Show” weekend on Aug. 9-10. Owner Tom Mathison, who had been in the bar business for 32 years including his ownership of a Fells Point gay establishment called the Unicorn, sold The Quest, which opened in March 2000.
Mathison lamented the plight of gay bars in the city citing a lack of support due to higher prices, the smoking ban, the ability for people to hook-up via the Internet and apps, and the fact many young gay people now patronize straight bars with their friends.
The Quest’s location away from the bustling Mount Vernon gayborhood may have been a factor as well. The Fleet Street structure will be razed in favor of new townhouses.